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  1. Tradition and Innovation in Scientists' Research Strategies

    What factors affect a scientist’s choice of research problem? Qualitative research in the history and sociology of science suggests that this choice is patterned by an "essential tension" between productive tradition and risky innovation. We examine this tension through Bourdieu’s field theory of science, and we explore it empirically by analyzing millions of biomedical abstracts from MEDLINE. We represent the evolving state of chemical knowledge with networks extracted from these abstracts. We then develop a typology of research strategies on these networks.

  2. Rage against the Iron Cage: The Varied Effects of Bureaucratic Personnel Reforms on Diversity

    Organization scholars since Max Weber have argued that formal personnel systems can prevent discrimination. We draw on sociological and psychological literatures to develop a theory of the varied effects of bureaucratic reforms on managerial motivation. Drawing on self-perception and cognitive-dissonance theories, we contend that initiatives that engage managers in promoting diversity—special recruitment and training programs—will increase diversity.

  3. Reward Stability Promotes Group Commitment

    A pressing problem for the social sciences is to understand the processes leading to commitment within organizational settings. Toward this end, we argue for the stability of rewards derived from groups as a key dimension of commitment. We present a theory that links reward stability to justice evaluations and corresponding emotional reactions, which in turn predict group commitment. From this theory, we derive several hypotheses, the key one being that justice evaluations and corresponding emotional reactions explain the effect of reward stability on commitment.

  4. The Contingent Value of Embeddedness: Self-affirming Social Environments, Network Density, and Well-being

    Social capital theorists claim that belonging to a densely knit social network creates a shared identity, mutually beneficial exchange, trust, and a sense of belonging in that group. Taken together with the empirical research on the importance of social support and social integration for individuals’ well-being, there is reason to expect that the density of one’s personal social network should be positively related to well-being.

  5. A "Global Interdependence" Approach to Multidimensional Sequence Analysis

    Although sequence analysis has now become a widespread approach in the social sciences, several strategies have been developed to handle the specific issue of multidimensional sequences. These strategies have distinct characteristics related to the way they explicitly emphasize multidimensionality, interdependence, and parsimony.

  6. A Progressive Supervised-learning Approach to Generating Rich Civil Strife Data

    "Big data" in the form of unstructured text pose challenges and opportunities to social scientists committed to advancing research frontiers. Because machine-based and human-centric approaches to content analysis have different strengths for extracting information from unstructured text, the authors argue for a collaborative, hybrid approach that combines their comparative advantages.

  7. A Design and a Model for Investigating the Heterogeneity of Context Effects in Public Opinion Surveys

    Context effects on survey response, caused by the unobserved interaction between beliefs stored in personal memory and triggers generated by the structure of the survey instrument, are a pervasive challenge to survey research. The authors argue that randomized survey experiments on representative samples, when paired with facilitative primes, can enable researchers to model selection into variable context effects, revealing heterogeneity at the population level.

  8. An Introduction to the General Monotone Model with Application to Two Problematic Data Sets

    We argue that the mismatch between data and analytical methods, along with common practices for dealing with "messy" data, can lead to inaccurate conclusions. Specifically, using previously published data on racial bias and culture of honor, we show that manifest effects, and therefore theoretical conclusions, are highly dependent on how researchers decide to handle extreme scores and nonlinearities when data are analyzed with traditional approaches.

  9. Beyond Text: Using Arrays to Represent and Analyze Ethnographic Data

    Recent methodological debates in sociology have focused on how data and analyses might be made more open and accessible, how the process of theorizing and knowledge production might be made more explicit, and how developing means of visualization can help address these issues. In ethnography, where scholars from various traditions do not necessarily share basic epistemological assumptions about the research enterprise with either their quantitative colleagues or one another, these issues are particularly complex.

  10. Shrinkage Estimation of Log-odds Ratios for Comparing Mobility Tables

    Statistical analysis of mobility tables has long played a pivotal role in comparative stratification research. This article proposes a shrinkage estimator of the log-odds ratio for comparing mobility tables. Building on an empirical Bayes framework, the shrinkage estimator improves estimation efficiency by "borrowing strength" across multiple tables while placing no restrictions on the pattern of association within tables.